HALF MOON BAY (CBS SF) — The opening of the big-wave surfing contest at Mavericks has been delayed by a month, organizers for the event announced Wednesday.

The window for the Mavericks Big Wave Invitational, which was due to open Thursday, will now open Jan. 1 and close March. 31, 2012, organizer and big wave surfer Jeff Clark said in a statement.

The reason given for the delay was a lack of decent swells so far this year at the famed big-wave break, which is less than a mile off the San Mateo County coast near Pillar Point Harbor.

“By this time of year, we usually have the chance to get out there and surf, get the cobwebs off, so to speak,” Clark said in a statement. “But there hasn’t been any decent swell and now we’re getting into the holidays, which is always a black-out period for the contest.”

When the competition window opens in a month, organizers will monitor offshore weather and water patterns that could generate big-wave swells at Mavericks.

Ideal conditions failed to materialize in the 2010-2011 season, and the contest was not held.

If conditions become more favorable this season, the 24 surfers invited to compete this year—whose names were announced Wednesday—will vote on whether or not the competition should go ahead.

Among those invited to compete this year are 2010 Mavericks champ Chris Bertish, of South Africa, 2008 champion Greg Long, of San Clemente, 2005 champion Anthony Tashnick, of Santa Cruz, and 11-time world champion Kelly Slater.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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